Calais baseball offers complete effort in besting WA

Lewis Francis of Calais High School dives back into second base during a pickoff attempt in the fourth inning of Friday's baseball season opener in East Machias against Washington Academy. WA's Alex Currier awaits the throw. Calais won 14-2.
Gabor Degre/BDN
Lewis Francis of Calais High School dives back into second base during a pickoff attempt in the fourth inning of Friday's baseball season opener in East Machias against Washington Academy. WA's Alex Currier awaits the throw. Calais won 14-2.
Posted April 15, 2011, at 8:13 p.m.
Last modified April 15, 2011, at 10:30 p.m.
Gabor Degre/BDN

EAST MACHIAS — The defending Eastern Maine Class A champion Calais High School baseball team couldn’t ask for much more from its 2011 season debut Friday.

Junior righthander Adam Geel allowed two runs on five hits over six innings, and eight different Blue Devils had at least one hit as coach Kenny Murphy’s club cruised to a 14-2 victory over Washington Academy.

“We hit well today for just coming out of a gym,” said Murphy. “Basically, that’s all we worked on in the gym was hitting and it made a big difference. The key to the game was they were patient at the plate.”

And if offense and pitching weren’t enough, Calais also played errorless defense — not bad for a team that had barely seen the great outdoors before this annual opener against its Down East rival.

“It wasn’t bad,” said Calais shortstop Dylan Carter. “We didn’t get a lot of prep time, just one day on the field, but Adam pitched well and the guys stepped up and fielded their positions.”

Geel, 7-1 a year ago in helping Calais win its first regional championship since 1992, struck out seven, walked three and hit a batter before giving way to Joe Mitchell, who worked a 1-2-3 seventh.

“I would have liked to have a better start,” said Geel, whose pitching work during the preseason was confined to the gymnasium. “I had trouble finding my location, but the ‘D’ was good.

“I just tried getting it over the plate and let the other guys do the work.”

Mitchell, a junior center fielder, paced a Calais attack missing two starters — Jeremy Beers and Nathan Pike, both away on vacation — with a double and three singles in five at-bats from the top spot in the batting order.

“Leadoff is a good place for me,” said Mitchell. “I can try to use my speed and quickness there.”

Geel, Carter and designated hitter John Edwards each added two hits, with Edwards contributing a bases-loaded triple to a four-run rally in the top of the seventh.

“We don’t normally leave a lot of guys on base,” said Carter. “Today, we did in the first couple of innings, but hopefully that gets better as the season goes on.”

Calais scored an unearned run in the top of the first on a misplayed fly ball after WA lefthander Tim Sawyer walked the bases loaded after one out.

Calais outfielder Alex Barnett then prevented a rally by the Raiders in the bottom of the inning by ranging in right field to spear a one-out liner by Fred MacLean.

The Blue Devils broke the game open with five runs in the second, as Mitchell and Carter each singled home a run before Lewis Francis — a transfer from Washington Academy — capped off the rally with a two-run single to center.

WA scored its only runs in the bottom of the second as Cameron Murray hit a one-out RBI triple to deep right-center and scored when No. 9 hitter Jordan Drouin flared a single to right.

Calais countered with two runs in the top of the third on a leadoff walk to Barnett, a ground single to center by freshman catcher P.J. Descoteaux, an RBI double to right by Mitchell and a run-producing groundout by Geel.

Edwards singled home a run in the fourth to make it 9-2, and Carter added an RBI single in the fifth before Calais capped off this sunny and cool afternoon with four runs in the seventh off WA reliever Nick Pineo, an uprising that included an RBI single by Geel before Edwards cleared the bases with his two-out triple to right.

Murray was the lone repeat hitter for coach Derek Feeney’s Washington Academy club with a triple and a single. He also was hit by a pitch to reach base in all three of his plate appearances.

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